People more likely to use Internet to find an attorney, survey says

May 21, 2014
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Forget the phone book, billboard or even word of mouth referrals. You’re future clients are going to find you based on searching the World Wide Web, according to a recent survey.

We live in a society that is constantly connected thanks to the Internet and expects immediate results – again, in part thanks to the Internet. It makes sense then that a survey by FindLaw.com and Thomson Reuters found that the top choice of people in need of legal representation is to use the Internet to find an attorney.

The Internet gives potential clients a great deal of information – attorney websites, service reviews and any disciplinary history. You can’t get this information from a phone book ad or a TV commercial. And it gives you that information in a very short amount of time.

And while I believe word of mouth is still a great way to find an attorney, what happens if your friend’s cousin is a highly respected family law attorney, but you need a bankruptcy attorney?

The survey found 38 percent of people polled said they would use the Internet to help them find a lawyer; 29 percent said they would ask a friend or relative. Compare those numbers to a 2005 survey, in which only 7 percent said they would use the Internet to find an attorney and a whopping 65 percent reported they would find an attorney through word of mouth. 

Only 4 percent of respondents turn to the phone book these days; 10 percent said they used the phone book to find an attorney in 2005. Today, 10 percent of people polled said they would consult with the local bar association as compared to 13 percent of people surveyed in 2005.

Law firms know that they may land a significant percentage of their clients based on the Internet – that’s why you see so many firms with jazzy Web sites complete with lawyer bios, firm news touting the awards and accomplishments of its attorneys, and blogs and legal articles. In fact, these days, it’s almost looked at as suspect if a company – law firms included – doesn’t have a website.

How much of your business is generated through the Internet? When did you start to see a shift to the Internet being a major driver of clients to your firm?
 

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  1. in a lawyer discipline case Judge Brown, now removed, was presiding over a hearing about a lawyer accused of the supposedly heinous ethical violation of saying the words "Illegal immigrant." (IN re Barker) http://www.in.gov/judiciary/files/order-discipline-2013-55S00-1008-DI-429.pdf .... I wonder if when we compare the egregious violations of due process by Judge Brown, to her chiding of another lawyer for politically incorrectness, if there are any conclusions to be drawn about what kind of person, what kind of judge, what kind of apparatchik, is busy implementing the agenda of political correctness and making off-limits legit advocacy about an adverse party in a suit whose illegal alien status is relevant? I am just asking the question, the reader can make own conclsuion. Oh wait-- did I use the wrong adjective-- let me rephrase that, um undocumented alien?

  2. of course the bigger questions of whether or not the people want to pay for ANY bussing is off limits, due to the Supreme Court protecting the people from DEMOCRACY. Several decades hence from desegregation and bussing plans and we STILL need to be taking all this taxpayer money to combat mostly-imagined "discrimination" in the most obviously failed social program of the postwar period.

  3. You can put your photos anywhere you like... When someone steals it they know it doesn't belong to them. And, a man getting a divorce is automatically not a nice guy...? That's ridiculous. Since when is need of money a conflict of interest? That would mean that no one should have a job unless they are already financially solvent without a job... A photographer is also under no obligation to use a watermark (again, people know when a photo doesn't belong to them) or provide contact information. Hey, he didn't make it easy for me to pay him so I'll just take it! Well heck, might as well walk out of the grocery store with a cart full of food because the lines are too long and you don't find that convenient. "Only in Indiana." Oh, now you're passing judgement on an entire state... What state do you live in? I need to characterize everyone in your state as ignorant and opinionated. And the final bit of ignorance; assuming a photo anyone would want is lucky and then how much does your camera have to cost to make it a good photo, in your obviously relevant opinion?

  4. Seventh Circuit Court Judge Diane Wood has stated in “The Rule of Law in Times of Stress” (2003), “that neither laws nor the procedures used to create or implement them should be secret; and . . . the laws must not be arbitrary.” According to the American Bar Association, Wood’s quote drives home this point: The rule of law also requires that people can expect predictable results from the legal system; this is what Judge Wood implies when she says that “the laws must not be arbitrary.” Predictable results mean that people who act in the same way can expect the law to treat them in the same way. If similar actions do not produce similar legal outcomes, people cannot use the law to guide their actions, and a “rule of law” does not exist.

  5. Linda, I sure hope you are not seeking a law license, for such eighteenth century sentiments could result in your denial in some jurisdictions minting attorneys for our tolerant and inclusive profession.

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